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'Bedroom Tax' plan for UK gets green light

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in-bedCONTROVERSIAL plans to introduce a 'bedroom tax' to the UK has been given the green light – but in a modified form.

The bedroom tax is nowhere near as sexy as it sounds and involves nothing more than cutting some welfare benefits for people in under-occupied homes – those with spare bedrooms.

The plan still needs to clear a last parliamentary hurdle but is likely to be brought in later this year.

The House of Lords, the UK's senior chamber, demanded changes to David Cameron's bedroom tax proposals and it will now not affect the disabled, war widows and foster carers unless they refuse to take up an offer of a suitable alternative home.

But the Lords backed down over changes to other parts of the coalition's controversial welfare shake-up.

The Welfare Reform Bill, which puts in place a £26,000 benefits cap and introduces a new, simplified universal credit to replace a complex range of payments.

Labour's Baroness Hollis of Heigham backed Lord Best and said the Government's cuts were hitting the most vulnerable.

She told peers: "Families with a disabled child can lose £14 a week while most of us enjoy a tax-free winter fuel allowance, or find for the second year running that our council tax has been frozen. Not a penny of these cuts are falling on me, and I suspect on very few of you, and yet we are asking disabled families and families with disabled children to carry those cuts for us."

Welfare reform minister Lord Freud said the £100 million extra cost of Lord Best's amendment was "regrettably in the present climate a lot of money" and opposed the change.


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